The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

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Freshman Friday: Brandon Fong


Growing up in the water, it’s no surprise that freshman Brandon Fong is on the varsity swim team. Because of his dedication and passion for swimming, he was able to overcome the disadvantage of young age and make Niles West’s top team as a freshman.

Hard work is the main factor behind Fong’s success in swimming. Fong has been competitively swimming since he was eight years old, and he admits that being a swimmer is anything but easy.

“Being a swimmer is not easy, and there’s definitely a lot of hard work that goes into being one,” Fong said. “Swimming is definitely a challenging sport. There are no timeouts, breaks, or substitutes when you’re swimming. I love that it’s challenging because I’m able to push myself and my teammates to the best of our abilities.”

One of Fong’s closest friends since middle school, freshman Liliana Youkhana, is very proud of his accomplishments. She has been able to see him grow as both a swimmer and as a person during their first semester of high school.

“Brandon has been one of my really good friends since I was young. He’s always been the kid who can make anyone smile when they’re sad. He’s an amazing kid with a great sense of humor and so much kindness,” Youkhana said. “He’s an amazing swimmer and he just keeps getting better throughout the high school swim season.”

It can be hard for a freshman to fit in with a group of mostly upperclassmen, but Fong had no problem adjusting, and his teammates welcomed him with open arms.

“I’m happy to do something where everyone shares the same interests as me, and it’s been a while since I felt connected to such a supportive team,” Fong said. “The upperclassmen of the team were so friendly and welcoming when I first joined and I felt an instant connection, like we were brothers. I hope to follow in their footsteps when I become older so underclassmen can look up to me as a leader like I do to the older boys of the team.

One of Fong’s role models on the team, senior Fredrich Oribello, inspires him to work harder every day. Oribello is very impressed with Fong’s self motivation and the positive reinforcement he provides for all of his teammates.

“He’s always positive and always cheers on other teammates during their races. He brings energy to all the practices and meets that we have,” Oribello said. “He loves giving motivational speeches before practice to help pump the team up. I’ve never seen him upset; he always has a smile on his face.”

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